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Selected Outstanding Essays (Excerpts) From Students of GSS 2020 (3)

My Learning Experience and Critical Analysis on Knowledge Obtained in Tsinghua GSS 2020  

Yin Siau, Oh  Malaysian

 Negative Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Global Value Chain (The Economy Post-Pandemic)

Global value chain is the process or activities by which a company adds value to an article, including production, marketing, and the provision of after-sales services at a global scale. Under the COVID-19 Pandemic, many countries have enforced movement restriction orders and laws especially towards goods and people crossing international borders. Many manufacturing and service companies are even forced to stop in some countries where the COVID-19 struck the heaviest. In consequence of that, the global value chain is deeply affected as many of the products we use now are assembled and processed by parts that must be imported from several countries.

As an engineering student, I learnt a lot about materials, machines and their counterparts. Every single element contributes to a creation and are equally significant. Listening to the lectures in this theme, it made me realized that a single disruption of the global value chain hugely affects the progression of innovation and creation. Hence, I view this problem as important and keen on further investigating it.

In my opinion, the first measure required to counter this problem is to deal with the crisis management. The high position employees and executive committees have to perform quick and decisive crisis management by holding priorities straight, such as safety, financial stability, procurement, production capacity adjustment and crisis recovery. To overcome the difficulty of communication, online platform such as Zoom or Google drive can be utilized for online meeting and document sharing. Moreover, the companies may consider change of marketing strategy, focusing on domestic market instead of international market. Besides, innovating new products and services and manufacture it by oneself can overcome the reliance of parts or materials required from other countries.

     The Substantial Increment of Carbon Footprint (Sustainable Development Post-Pandemic)

Since the industrial revolution when humans discovered coal as a source of energy, the world advances at a meteoric pace with the ability to harness huge tremendous amount of energy to perform almost any activity we desire. However, since then, the amount of carbon and greenhouse gases has been significantly increased, leading to global warming and a series of environmental issues. According to the speaker during the webinar session, these undesired phenomenon occurs mainly due to excessive greenhouse gases being trapped in the atmosphere of the Earth, which act as a barrier to keep heat from escaping. The increment of heat subsequently changes the atmospheric conditions, inducing extreme weather conditions around the globe.

Scientists and experts have warned that the current incremental rate of carbon footprint poses a huge threat to the sustainable development of human civilization in the long run. Hence, this problem is not just important for me, but also important to all individuals and our future generations. To ensure that we can continue to strive on Mother Earth, we should be concerned regarding this issue.

All of us has a part to play to counter this problem. As individuals, we should always practice good habits of recycling, reducing and minimize our energy usage when performing daily activities. We can even choose greener products like electric vehicles, organic food and using green energy like installing solar panels. However, the main issue resides with big companies and government policies. The government should be more proactive in providing incentives to companies in reducing carbon. Moreover, the government should encourage green energy technology innovation and development and gradually switch out coal and fossil fuels for greener alternatives like wind and solar energy.

Ethical and Security Risks of AI Technology (Artificial Intelligence Application and Governance)

In the 21st century, we have arrived at an era of technological advancement especially in the field of Internet of Things (IoT) and the development of AI technology. AI technology is so prevalent that we can easily find it within our smart phones, assisting us through our daily lives. Now, AI is even implemented in driverless machines and vehicles, city control etc. However, people has started to raise concerns regarding the ethical and security issues involving AI technology. This is because there exist controversies on the ethical guidelines deem appropriate when AI judge or perform a task. Besides, many also worry about the whether we can safely keep our personal data with the AI or the companies behind it. This is a problem we cannot neglect when developing AI.

As an engineering student, I realized that using AI or machine learning to develop a new innovation can save us time and cost. Moreover, many machines nowadays are embedded in AI technology and known as “smart machines” which are faster, more convenient and easier to operate. Hence, the governance of AI ethics and security intrigues me.

I agree to the solution that one of the speakers provided, which is to establish a committee recognized by experts and leaders to oversee this issue and come up with a set of rules and guidelines as a basis of AI ethics and security. Moreover, this is not only limited to companies that develop the AI but also the government. In different countries, government works in different ways. Hence, different policies for AI implementation should be formulated. Besides, I suggest that consumers should be aware of the algorithm of the AI and have a freedom of choice on whichever AI deem suitable.